Opposing views on Christianity, without footing
First, let's answer a few opposing views to Christianity, otherwise, it is hard to make progress, as people block Christianity for one of these reasons:
- "I am boycotting Christianity because there have been priests who have committed unforgivable sins"
Jesus placed the Church in human hands knowing full well that people sin. They represent the Church and they are held more accountable as they receive special graces beyond common people. If this privilege is abused, heavy penalties are imposed, their heinous sins are graver. According to Blessed Emmerich's visions (1820), Jesus foresaw the abomination of future sins (at Gethsemane), in them, was "...the sacrilegious crimes of all wicked priests with their frightful consequences... ". If we can't separate human actions from the Church itself, where Mass and Sacraments are static, we should then apply the same logic and live in a country free from government corruption; justice is for the afterlife. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, published in 1566, says:
It should never be forgotten, that the Sacraments, although they cannot lose the divine efficacy inherent in them, bring eternal death and everlasting perdition on him who dares to administer them with hands stained with the defilement of sin. Holy things, and the observation cannot be too often repeated, should be treated holily, and with due reverence...the vices of the planter do not impede the growth of the vine, so, and the comparison is sufficiently intelligible, those who were planted in Christ by the ministry of bad men, sustain no injury from guilt which is not their own. Judas Iscariot, as the Holy Fathers infer from the Gospel of S. John, conferred baptism on many ; and yet none of those whom he baptised are recorded to have been baptised again.
Book: The Catechism of the Council of Trent by Council of Trent
- "The Spanish Inquisition has deterred me from the Roman Catholic Church"
Falsified evidence left by resentful Protestants. Fabrications about the supposed torture and cruelties of the Inquisition spread like wildfire among those ready to pounce at the slightest pretense to defame Spain or the Holy Mother Church.
- "A movie or book portrayed Christianity as outdated and wrong"
We have a tendency to ignore the truth when it does not conform to the way we live our daily lives. We may have to read core catholic books before viewing the movie again. We may be surprised at their opposing views after what we have learned.
- "Religion is a way to control people"
My definition of a true Christian is a non-judgmental person who thinks of himself as the lowest of the low because of his sins and his obedience, and who prefers to please rather than be right. Humble in every action, thinking about his neighbor. Money does not rule his world, God does. Praying in silence and with gratitude, he escapes and loathes human praise. Suffering is sweet to him, and joy is in his heart. I can only pray to be that disciplined and to have that type of control in my life.
- "If God truly exists, there would be no suffering in this world"
Suffering is the way to learn to love. God will not interfere with our free will. If we remove suffering from this world (no hospitals, no police, no schools, no chores, etc.), we may learn the opposite of love. Why is a man born blind? Jesus teaches us that they are born blind to glorify God. As we usually live without gratitude, a quick glimpse of a blind man reminds us of our own eyes, and how their function we take for granted. same as our other senses: walking, eating, understanding speech, etc. Looking up to heaven, thanking the Lord for these miracles, we glorify Him. So, a negative stirs thousands of positives. Mary's message (2018) said:"... what is to come afterward is unknown to you, but when your hereafter comes, you will receive all the answers." Saint Thomas Aquinas (1250) said the same: "In the future life, this defect of intellect will be removed by the state of glory when we shall be able to see the Essence of God Himself, but without being able to comprehend Him."
- "The Bible says the universe was created in seven days and humanity is about 6000 years old, but Earth is millions of years old according to carbon dating, so the Bible is wrong"
In the New Testament, 2 Peter 3:8 says, "One day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day." God is light (John 1:15) and light travels at the speed of light. Albert Einstein proved that as we travel in space close to the speed of light, a one-day space journey is thousands of days on Earth and physical distances get closer. My question is then: "Are seven days from God's point of reference or Earth's?". The opposite holds true as well, so that "One day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day." I answered your question with basic science, but as we will soon see, supernatural miracles leave science in the dust. God has control over time outside of science. He created it, He can halt it and extend it without human perception, at will. A mystical experience in November 1994 may shed light,
He noted that he calls it a light, but that though it felt billions of times stronger than the sun, it had no heat and did not hurt his eyes...begged the presence not to leave, or if it went, to take him with him, and the communication came, "I am always everywhere," before the light stopped and Nader was again in the cold, dark hermitage. Glancing at his watch, he said he realised four hours had passed "like a second."
Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) may further clarify,
God's power is always and everywhere, so whatever is God is everywhere and always... free from every law of space and time and composition of parts.
Book: Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works by Anselm, St.
Reading from the Old Testament, Book of Genesis, dinosaurs were first created, millions of years passed, then man was created. One day for God, time dilation for us,
So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind... the fifth day... So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them... the sixth day.
Animals have a temporary irrational soul, and humans possess a rational eternal soul. Physical evolution can not transform an irrational soul into a rational soul by mere adaptation and copulation through the ages. With eight million species on this planet, why are humans the only species with an evolved rational mind? We should be talking to other "evolved" species by now, exchanging literature, art, and laughter with dolphins, playing chess with cows; no sense of shame is found in animals either. Hidden oceans under Earth's crust agree with Noah's flood; there are errors in prehistoric carbon dating as well (example). Radiocarbon fluctuations, as we further go back in time, make carbon dating unreliable; mathematically explained:
Trashing faith based on erroneously popular scientific assumptions has created the biggest apostasy in developed economies. Without a single advanced physics or biology course, ignoring the basic miracle of life, most people are blindly pledging their souls against religion. Not seeking God is choosing the opposite of God. We just don't love something we ignore.
- "Church often changes its view on sin"
Written religious laws are a recipe for living happy lives, but these rules are not static when faith comes from the heart. Meaning, when someone breaks a religious rule, it may be a serious sin, but for another person, in different circumstances, it may not even be considered a sin. In the parable of the good Samaritan (Gospel), why didn't the Jewish priest assist the battered traveler? Because he would be defiled by the dead (a law banning his entrance to the temple). The Jewish priest was only thinking about his cleanliness; compassion for his neighbour was second. The person that helped, ignored the law, but in God's eyes, there was no wrongdoing.
- "Astrology is usually right, so I follow my sign horoscope"
We are now talking about idolatry. Read my comments about idolatry below.
- "Church does not match my lifestyle"
Self-control is hard, not easy, it takes work.
He surely has more than 12 followers.
- "Science does not address God, so I don't believe in God"
In human history, when people got cold at night, fire made its appearance, and wood, a way to harness it; to move without effort, wheels. As the population increased, massive oil and gas reserves were discovered underground (they were always there) and electricity showed up in the 1800s, with magnetic fields as a way to harness it (already in nature) and pliable metals for its transmission. Our solar system, an exception: "Scientists have discovered 884 planets, 692 planetary systems, 132 of them with more than one planet, and almost none of them look like us...we live on an unusual planet in an unusual solar system, doubly-unusual." The sun, at a perfect distance from Earth, allows water to cycle through its phases, moving life around; and even though elements get denser at lower temperatures, water is not (as sinking ice would've hindered life). Life, made of cells, whose biology was discovered in the last 100 years to be amazingly complex, with millions of chemical reactions successively reacting in concert, even though physics laws tell us that things tend to disassemble, not increase in complexity. The planet has it all. For the past and future needs, for a life in perfect chemical balance. All this by chance? With those odds, I might start shaking a box full of transistors with the hope of building my own iPhone, software included. We still cannot memorize 30 random words; we need constant trial and error to get anything to work, and when it does, we write it down, otherwise we forget. Everything in small increments; we just can't grasp the big picture from its moving parts. Saint Augustine, in his "Confession" book, written in the year 400, analysing the eternity of God, said: "matter does not exist if there is no time," proven 1500 years later by Albert Einstein, and Saint Augustine's thoughts lead to the big bang theory before its time. Science is a partial view of God, a full view requires faith. Saint Thomas Aquinas said in 1250: "even that which is stable, since it is created from nothing, would return to nothingness were it not sustained by a governing hand."
Book: Confessions (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Augustine of Hippo
- "There is no such thing as free will"
Let's discuss this article. It says: “If we could understand any individual's brain architecture and chemistry well enough, we could, in theory, predict that individual's response to any given stimulus with 100 percent accuracy." Let Saint Augustine (420ac) respond to the wrong logic of that statement. Saint Augustine, in his answer on predestined lives set by astrology (personalities defined by planets at the point of conception or birth), explained twin brothers' behaving differently in their lives in response to the same stimulus. We just need to replace "astrology" with "genetic material" and answer in the same fashion to the nowadays regurgitated "foreknowledge excludes free will" nonsense from biology (genetics) and even physics (atomic). If there is no time in God, then human history is seen as events happening all at once. Included in those events are almost infinite human acts of will as causes of human activities. So, "God knows all things before they happen and that we do them by our free will; everything that we feel and know would not happen without our volition." (City of God, Augustine). Free will and foreknowledge are not mutually exclusive when the first exists "in time" and the second in "no time". Thus, only God has foreknowledge and a fixed order of all causes, and it does not follow that nothing depends on our free will.
Book: City of God by Augustine of Hippo